Category Archives: Blessed Virgin Mary

With a look full of hope and compassion Mary says: fear not, God loves you personally

Pope Benedict made the annual visit to Spain’s Square, the Spanish Steps as it’s known, to lay a wreathe at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to offer a prayer of filial devotion and to encourage the faithful in our faith. His address follows:

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Also this year
we have made an appointment here, in Piazza di Spagna, to render homage to the
Immaculate Virgin, on the occasion of her solemn feast. To all of you, who have
come in great numbers, as well as all those taking part through radio and
television, I address my cordial greeting. We are gathered around this historic
monument, which today is all surrounded by flowers, sign of the love and
devotion of the Roman people for the Mother of Jesus. And the most beautiful
gift, and most pleasing to her, that we offer is our prayer, the one we bear in
our hearts and which we entrust to her intercession
. They are invocations of
gratitude and supplication: of gratitude for the gift of faith and for all the
good that we receive daily from God; and supplication for our different needs,
for the family, health, work, for every difficulty that life has us encounter.

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Lawrence Lew’s Meditation on the Immaculate Conception

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Here’s a meditation on today’s feast of the Immaculate Conception by the Rev’d Br. Lawrence Lew, OP, a friar of the English Dominican Province.

Brother Lawrence is one of the animators of the Dominican students’ blog, Godzdogz.
In the coming year Brother Lawrence will be ordained a priest.

Consecration of Persons to the Immaculate Heart of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary

This prayer of consecration was written by a friend of mine, Father Mark. As he notes, “and may be helpful when one experiences a need to entrust particular souls in difficulty to the Immaculate Conception. As he notes, when a priest prays it, he may want to don the stole and pray it before a blessed image of the Most Holy Virgin. This intercessory consecration is appropriate for the unbinding and healing of situations marked by habitual sin and moral suffering. The Immaculate Virgin Mary is ever-ready to intervene in the lives of her children. She is the Mother of Mercy and the Mediatrix of All Graces.”

In the name of the Father, + and of the Son, and of the Holy
Spirit. Amen.

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Most holy Virgin Mary, — thou whom the FATHER didst preserve
from the first instant of thy conception from all evil and from the least
shadow of sin,
– thou whom the Precious Blood of JESUS didst render immaculate
and all-beautiful, even before that same Blood was formed in thy virginal womb
and poured out upon the altar of the Cross,
– thou whom the HOLY GHOST didst
fill full with every grace in view of the glorious motherhood of the Son of God
for which thou wast created, — thou art she who crusheth the head of the ancient
serpent, thou art she who alone overcometh the evil that is in us and around

To thee, O Mary, thy Son hath entrusted the liberation of souls enchained
by sin, the healing of wounded souls, and the sanctification of souls who have
suffered evil’s worst ravages.

Thou hast only to open thy immaculate hands over
them, and they are shot through with the rays of thy purity. Through thee,
entereth the light to shine in the darkest places. Through thee, souls are washed
in a downpour of graces. Through thee, the Holy Spirit succoureth the weakest
souls and giveth to the sterile a wonderful fecundity.

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Mary is the model of Christian life, pope reminds

In his pastoral visit to Sicily last week the Holy Father called to mind the beauty and the place of the Mother of God in our lives: she’s an intensely loving mother who truly looks after her children. Here are some excerpts:

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To the Virgin Mary I wish to entrust all of the people
of God who live in this beloved land. May she sustain the families in love and
in educational commitment; may she fructify the seeds of vocation that God
liberally sows
among the young people; may she instill courage in trials, hope
in difficulties, renewed strength in doing the good. May the Madonna comfort
the sick and all those who are suffering, and help the Christian communities so
that no one in them be forgotten or in need, but that each one, especially the
little and the weak, feel welcomed and valued.”

The also told us that “in Parma, Anna Maria Adorni
is being beatified. In 19th century she was an exemplary wife and mother and
then, having become a widow, she dedicated herself to charitable work among
women in prison and in difficulty, for whose service she founded two religious
institutes. Mother Adorni, because of her constant prayer, was called the
“Living Rosary.” I am glad to mention her at the beginning of the
month of the rosary. May the daily meditation on the mysteries of Christ in
union with Mary, the prayerful Virgin, strengthen us in faith, in hope and in

Benedict XVI
address at Palermo’s Foro Italico Umberto I
October 3,

Our Lady of the Rosary

Madonna of the Rosary LLotto.jpgI once told a youth director who was getting “heat” from his colleagues for having his parish youth group pray the rosary that that prayer is really Scripture study. What else could you call the each of the mysteries, the Hail Mary and the Lord’s Prayer? On the simplest level praying the rosary is not only a tool of spiritual education in the School of Mary, but also uniting more and more closely to the Lord.

It is often said that if you want to end sin in your life, evil in the world, that is, to slice the head off evil, then pray the Rosary. I see more rosaries around the rear view mirror or around the neck but so rarely in those same hands fingering the beads of the Mysteries of the Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. In the rosary we trace the lines of salvation history and the beautiful mission of Jesus.

Pope, saints, good priests and religious and grandmothers recommend wholeheartedly our attachment to this divine gift of love.

The previous year’s post for this feast is here.

The infant church in prayer was gathered round

Th’apostles and the Mother of the Lord;

In faithfulness to Christ’s farewell command,

They prayed and waited, trusting in the Word.


With joy we think on incarnation’s grace;

With light we meditate upon Christ’s life;

With sorrow, all his passion keep in mind;

And in his glory, hope beyond all strife.


For Mary’s faithfulness we praise you, Lord,

who heard and trusted in your promise strong;

To you we sing, O Trinity most blessed,

In praise that through the ages echoes long.


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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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